Bigne’-lite

March 21, 2016 / Events
Rome, Lazio

It is quite possible that bigne’ di San Giuseppe displaced other food groups this weekend as the winner for caloric intake. Saturday was the Festa di San Giuseppe, aka the festa del pap√†, which among other ways is celebrated with the ubiquitous consumption of these delicious treats.

Known as zeppole in other areas of Italy, the bigne’ di San Giuseppe as they are known in Rome tend to be fluffier versions of their slightly different regional cousins. Regardless of provenance, across the board you are looking at a mouth watering egg, sugar, butter, flour, and milk confection. In Rome, they are the size of a softball.

These bigne’ can be had in two versions, deep fried or baked. Perhaps the latter version is a nod to the health-minded? (!?) We dare someone to trademark the baked version of this half-pound egg sugar butter bomb… the bigne’-lite.

(Fried version on the left; baked on the right. Best to order one of each.)

bigne-lite

GB

by GB Bernardini

Editor, Italian Notebook

12 Responses to “Bigne’-lite”

  1. Ahhhh, how many delicious memories! I agree: better having one of each! ;-) Thanks and I hope you will publish something on Pasquetta, totally unknown here in the US (even worse, it is a normal working Monday): niente scampagnata o picnic…SIGH!

    Reply
  2. Sandra Spector

    Ok, Where can I buy them when in Rome, or do all the bakeries carry them? Is it only a seasonal treat? We will be in Rome in May.
    Grazie

    Reply
  3. Gian Banchero

    NEVER EVER EAT A “LITE” PASTRY (PHEWY), ALWAYS REACH FOR THE FULL FAT, HOW TASTY IS THE FULL CALORIC GUILTY ASSAULT!!!!

    Reply
  4. Anita Fiorini

    I enjoy your column very much but I was disappointed that you didn’t enclose the recipe for bigne-lite. Thank you

    Reply
  5. Ginny Siggia

    Recipe, anyone? Please? They sound wonderful. Maybe I had them as a child.

    Reply
  6. Tom Isaia

    My heritage is Sicilian (east coast side, near Messina/Milazzo) and we grew up with Crispelli -Crispedi in dialetto- on St Joseph’s Day. Flour, sugar, raisins, deep-fried, coated with powdered sugar. You’ll find recipes online.

    Reply
  7. Have you ever eaten the Sicilian variety – sfincia di San Giuseppe?? It’s probably a million times more calorific than the Roman variety. The same dough base – better fried in lard! – and then dollops of sweet ricotta with candied peel and chocolate drops. Thank goodness it’s only once a year!!

    Reply
  8. Lina Falcone

    These are similar to cream puffs only they are fried with the powder sugar on top., deliziosi. I would like to have the recipe for this one though. Grazie

    Reply
  9. Marianna Raccuglia

    Thank you GB, In my area we have zeppole and sfingi-both a delight!
    ,

    Reply

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